24 09, 2014

Communicating with Teens

By |September 24th, 2014|Anger and Rage, Anxiety Disorder, Behavioral Disorder, Depression, Parenting|Comments Off on Communicating with Teens|

The teenage brain is adapting and growing daily. Development of the pre-frontal cortex (responsible for executive functioning and the ability to make wise decisions, set and achieve goals, and communicate effectively) continues to form until about age 24. Thus, even emotionally healthy teens struggle with decision-making and healthy communication.
Anyone who has either taught or raised a teenager is acutely aware that communicating with teens has the potential to be a frustrating and sometimes awkward event. When a teenager is dealing with issues of anxiety, depression, adhd, behavioral disorder, or other mental health disorder, communication can be even more challenging.
The Grant-Halliburton Foundation recently sponsored a dynamic conference entitled, “When Life Hands You Teenagers.”  One of the speakers, Michelle Kinder, from Momentous Institute, shared some great insights for communicating with teens during her session, “Connecting with Teens: Using the Side Door When the Front Door Slams in Your Face.”

Build a Safe Relationship:
Two important elements for adults to consider regarding building healthy communication with teens were addressed in this seminar. The first includes fostering a safe relationship with your teen. Teachable moments are priceless, but when a stressed teen is in the middle of a rage or meltdown, this is not the time to teach a valuable lesson about respect or responsibility. When a teen’s brain is going haywire, very little information will be retained! Kinder refers to this as being dysregulated, and this word clearly describes what is going on in the teenage brain during a stressful situation. Wait until both of you are calm, collected, and thinking clearly before seizing that teachable moment!

Consider the River of Well-Being:
Another element for adults to consider when communicating with a teen is described by the [...]

24 07, 2014

Transformative Education and Mental Health

By |July 24th, 2014|ADD (AD/HD), Anxiety Disorder, Behavioral Disorder, Depression, Learning Disability, News & Events|Comments Off on Transformative Education and Mental Health|

Many children and teens struggle with mental health issues which can make traditional education a daily burden that aggravates symptoms. As the mother of a daughter who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 9th grade, I know all too well the stress of worrying about a child’s physical and mental health while trying to meet the attendance and academic requirements of the school, district, and state.
When brain function is out of balance, the chemicals produced in the brain are also out of sync. Children and teens who deal with anxiety, depression, learning disability, ADHD, behavioral disorder, or any disorder that involves brain function may have to work very hard to accomplish even the simplest of activities. This is because the brain is working so laboriously to perform daily tasks.

Click here for a more complete list of disorders treated by Brain Changers
Traditional education has rigorous expectations with regard to time structure, behavior, academic requirements, and socially accepted norms. This is understandable, given the federal and state requirements for students, teachers, and the education facility as a whole.
Transformative education refers to education that falls outside of the normal expectations typically found in most public and private schools. Because transformative education allows for flexibility in scheduling and academic requirements, it can be very beneficial for students who struggle in the traditional school.
Two Examples of Transformative Education
The MorningStar Academy is an online, private Christian school that is fully accredited. Students have access to a virtual teacher for help, they are required to complete daily assignments, and grades are based upon individual assignments and evaluations.  This type of setting is ideal for the student who requires multiple breaks during the day or who otherwise needs [...]

24 04, 2014

What is Cutting?

By |April 24th, 2014|Anxiety Disorder, Depression, News & Events|Comments Off on What is Cutting?|

What is Cutting?
First of all, it is important to understand that cutting is not an attempt at suicide. Cutting is a form of self-harm. It is an unhealthy coping strategy developed by those who want to curb the intensity of emotional pain.
Typically, cutting is a symptom of a greater issue involving depression, anxiety, abuse or other trauma, or another mental disorder. Those who cut may have a desire to calm the painful emotions raging inside of them, or they may feel numb and turn to cutting as a means of feeling something.
Unfortunately, once the cycle begins, cutting often becomes the coping mechanism of choice, making it very difficult to stop without outside help.

Why Do People Cut?
One of the first things we help our clients and families understand is that all self-harm, including cutting, is a form of self-medicating because of what is going on inside the body. When brainwaves are out of balance, it can cause a host of negative symptoms. For instance, if the high beta waves are overactive, it leads to an excess of cortisol and adrenaline production. The surge of these chemicals in the body may cause someone to experience anxiety, rage, an inability to complete tasks, and/or depression. Sometimes our clients describe feeling restless or like they want to crawl out of their skin.
When people experience these symptoms on an ongoing basis, they develop strategies to cope with the associated discomfort and pain. Sometimes, they may develop healthy coping strategies, but most often, people turn to drugs or alcohol, eating, pornography, gambling, cutting, or other unhealthy means of self-medicating. Physiologically, these people have to do something to ease the pain and/or discomfort. Self-medicating, including cutting, [...]

11 03, 2014

Testimonial for Effective Depression Treatment

By |March 11th, 2014|Depression, Testimonials|Comments Off on Testimonial for Effective Depression Treatment|

I would not be in the positive place I am now if it weren’t for the treatment offered at Brain Changers. Before, I was a miserable toad of a person. Always angry and depressed, I didn’t let anything positive in my life for years and years. Pills only worked for a little while with negative side effects. Then I went through a divorce. People told me to get over it and just choose to be happy. I wanted to, but couldn’t. I was truly stuck. As for letting God in? Forget about it. It turns out I had a low voltage brain and produced none of the brain chemicals necessary to be happy. Treatment with neurofeedback completely changed me. I can now choose to be happy and have renewed my faith which has made my treatment advance much faster. I urge you to try this treatment. It will change your life. I promise.


21 01, 2014

Winter, Mental Health, and SAD

By |January 21st, 2014|Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, News & Events, SAD, Schizophrenia|Comments Off on Winter, Mental Health, and SAD|

French poet and playwright Alfred De Moussett wrote, “Winter is a disease.” While this may seem to be a dramatic statement, significant evidence exists to support his declaration.
Winter months, where temperatures are colder, days are shorter, and the sun is enjoyed less, are considered to be the culprit for an increase in a number of mental disorders, including SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
According to a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine which researched online mental health searches between the years of 2006 and 2010, the results seem to support the notion that mental health issues are greater during the winter months.

Eating disorders were on average down 37 percent in summers in the US, and 42 percent during Australia summers.
Schizophrenia searches were down 37 percent in the US and 36 percent in Australia during summer months.
Bipolar searches decreased 16 percent in the US and 17 percent in Australia during this same time.
ADHD searches went down 28 percent in the US, 31 percent in Australia.
OCD inquiries dropped 18 percent in the US and 15 percent in Australia during warmer months.
Suicide was down 24 percent and 29 percent respectively, and
Anxiety searches dropped seven percent in the US and 15 percent in Australia during spring and summer months.

In Alaska, where the peak of the winter months average fewer than four hours of sunlight per day, it is estimated that as much as 20% of the population suffers from SAD. This disorder is considered to be so prevalent in Alaska in part because the many hours of darkness causes the brain to produce an abundance of melatonin, a vital chemical for sleep. Additionally, so few hours of sunlight in [...]

23 05, 2013

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bipolar: Is Bipolar Difficult to Treat?

By |May 23rd, 2013|Bipolar Disorder, Depression, News & Events|Comments Off on Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bipolar: Is Bipolar Difficult to Treat?|

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is Bipolar. She recently told her fans that she had decided to check herself into a mental health facility for 30 days to receive ongoing treatment for this disorder.
Zeta-Jones first received in-patient treatment in 2011, not long after her husband, actor Michael Douglas, was diagnosed with throat cancer. According to statements by the actress and her publicist, her bipolar disorder is controlled by medication, but she is very committed to ongoing maintenance.
It is outstanding that Zeta-Jones is so diligent in monitoring her health, and even more outstanding that she is so open about it. But is it typical for someone with bipolar being treated with medication, to require 30 days of in-patient treatment to keep the symptoms at bay?

Is It Bipolar or Depression?
Relapse is not uncommon among people with bipolar disorder. There are two main types of bipolar disorder — bipolar I and bipolar II. Bipolar I is the more severe of the two; it involves significant mood swings, both “highs” and “lows.” Bipolar II, with which Zeta-Jones has been diagnosed, involves more lows than highs. It can often be misdiagnosed as depression.

Bipolar 1 vs Bipolar II
Those with bipolar II can experience periods of depression, feelings of emptiness and worry, and even thoughts of suicide. Those with bipolar II are more likely to relapse than those with bipolar I — whether they are on medication or not.

What Causes Bipolar Disorder to Flare Up?
Every patient is different. Stress seems to be a significant trigger. This may have been a factor in 2011, when Zeta-Jones was first admitted to a treatment facility.
Additionally, varying schedules and sleep patterns can also lead to a relapse. Doctors generally recommend that [...]

11 12, 2012

Holiday Depression: A Case of the Holiday Blues

By |December 11th, 2012|Depression, News & Events|Comments Off on Holiday Depression: A Case of the Holiday Blues|

What is Holiday Depression or the Holiday Blues?
Hollywood, department stores, and the songs on the radio all tell us the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year.
However, for some people, the holidays can be a source of profound sadness and depression. People may feel sad during the holidays for a number of reasons. If a loved one has recently died or moved away, their absence for the first time during the holidays can be a significant source of sadness. Other causes of holiday blues include fatigue from over-commitment — buying gifts, baking cookies, and attending parties all take TIME and may cut into one’s sleep.
Alternately, sadness can be caused by a feeling of unrealistic expectations during the holidays. No party or gathering is ever perfect, particularly when family is involved! If there is too much anticipation for the perfect event, which then isn’t perfect, the resulting letdown can lead to a sadness that can develop into depression.
Financial concerns can contribute to holiday depression, too. You may not feel you have enough money to buy the gifts you think you need to buy, or you may feel pressured to buy gifts you cannot afford. Perhaps you think if you can just throw that extravagant party, that just might make you happy.
Some people also experience post-holiday depression — a feeling of letdown that the holidays are over, everyone has gone home, and all that is left is loneliness and a dying Christmas tree.
There is a difference between a period of sadness and actual clinical depression. Depression is a medical disorder that causes a prolonged feeling of sadness, tiredness, and lack of interest. It can cause physical symptoms such [...]

26 06, 2012

Perfectionism is linked to Anxiety, Depression, and OCD

By |June 26th, 2012|Anxiety Disorder, Depression, OCD|Comments Off on Perfectionism is linked to Anxiety, Depression, and OCD|

Perfectionism is linked directly to Depression, Anxiety, and/or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It can almost be labeled as Failure Anxiety Disorder. Perfectionists live with a very inflexible, rigid mind-set. Rather than enjoy life or activities, they are focused on the right and wrong of their choices. Life is viewed as black and white, with only one clear answer possible.

Do I have Depression?
This all-or-nothing mentality causes perfectionists to live with a constant fear of failure, thus magnifying the effects of real and/or perceived failure, regardless of how small or great the outcome may be. They obsess over aiming at and achieving perfection; all progress is measured in comparison to perfect, and anything short of this standard is considered failure. Nothing one does is ever truly good enough.

Do I have Anxiety Disorder?
Perfectionism takes its toll on interpersonal relationships, since communication can be very frustrating with someone who believes his/her viewpoint is the only truly acceptable one. Rather than have mutual respect for different opinions, a perfectionist will argue in unrelenting fashion that he/she is correct! Thus, these people often become isolated from healthy relationships and intimacy.

Do I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
How Can Brain Changers Help?
Brain Changers offers non-medication Holistic Medicine based treatments that include Neurofeedback and Counseling. This type of combined therapy is very effective for those struggling with perfectionism and the associated disorders. We address the brain function issues with neurofeedback, and through counseling (and biofeedback when appropriate) we tackle the unhealthy thought patterns to adapt healthier, more effective goals and means of thinking, performing, and interacting with others.

 Contact us to learn more about how we can help!

12 06, 2012

Self-Injury: Why do people hurt themselves?

By |June 12th, 2012|Anger and Rage, Anxiety Disorder, Depression|Comments Off on Self-Injury: Why do people hurt themselves?|

Self-injury is the act of deliberately causing harm to one’s own body. It is an unhealthy way of coping with emotional pain, intense anger or rage, or ongoing frustration. Self-injury is not a suicide attempt. Those who suffer from this disorder don’t want to die; they simply don’t want to feel emotional pain. These people find temporary relief from emotional pain with self-injury. The problem is that the relief is short-lived and leads to more serious issues and deeper emotional pain. It has been likened to slapping on a bandaid, when what you really need is stitches!
Self-injury is often an unhealthy coping mechanism for another mental disorder, including Depression, PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Eating Disorder, or Substance Abuse.

Click here to learn more about Neurofeedback therapy with Brain Changers
Because it is the result of an inability to cope in a healthy way with deep psychological pain, treatment for this condition needs to be focused on determining and dealing with the root cause for this behavior, rather than on the act of self-injury itself.

How Can Brain Changers Help?
We understands that self-injury is an unhealthy way of avoiding dealing with deep emotional pain. We start with a qEEG, or Brain Map, to determine which brainwaves are functioning outside the norm that might be related to symptoms. In neurofeedback sessions, the therapist works to retrain those brainwaves toward the norm, or typical, for healthy brain function. By rebalancing brain function, the client is better able to learn to deal with emotions in a healthy way. As the brain is healing, clients meet regularly with our Counselor to tackle the deeper issues that cause them to act out in this manner. We address unhealthy thought [...]

2 06, 2012

Improve Mood with Omega-3

By |June 2nd, 2012|ADD (AD/HD), Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Nutrition|Comments Off on Improve Mood with Omega-3|

Omega-3 Deficiency:
Omega-3 fatty acids make up a family of fats that help protect from heart disease and cancer, inflammation and joint pain, increased blood pressure, and a host of other health issues. This vital mineral is also imperative for healthy brain function to ward off mental disorders and stabilize emotions. Many doctors believe that the epidemic of mental illness in modern societies can be traced back to the lack of omega-3 in our contemporary diet and food supply. An omega-3 deficiency has been linked to decreased ability to focus and concentrate, AD/HD symptoms, anxiety and depression, and other issues related to the brain.

Symptoms of Omega-3 deficiency include:

Poor memory
Immune weakness
Dry skin, eczema, or hair loss
Heart problems
Reproductive problems
Mood swings or depression
Poor circulation

Depression and Omega-3:
In one study, low doses of an SSRI that would typically be considered ineffective were combined with omega-3 fatty acids. The result was an increased effectiveness of the anti-depressant effects. This finding is encouraging, and it may prove helpful when treating those patients who seem resistant to conventional treatment for depression.

Do I have Depression?
Anxiety and Omega-3:
There have been a few studies done that have concluded that when taken in high doses (2+ grams per day) over a period of weeks, participants in these research studies noticed fewer episodes of anxiety and an overall lift in their general mood. Typically, anxiety is one of the reasons for relapse for someone dealing with addiction. One study involving addicts found that the chance of relapse was reduced when participants took high doses of Omega-3 on a daily basis. Just as in other studies on Omega-3 for Anxiety, recovering addicts felt happier and more in control [...]